You don’t have to look far to experience Rotorua’s geothermal wonders—hissing geyers and bubbling mud pools can be found all around the city. Visits to Rotorua’s natural hot springs are also a popular pastime. Here are some of the best options.
Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park
467 Paradise Valley Road, Rotorua, New Zealand
Paradise Valley Springs was founded in 1939 as a sanctuary for the local trout population. The park still has trout, which you can view in the underwater viewing cave, plus you can meet a wide range of mammals, many of which are farmed in New Zealand. Native birds make their nests in the forest canopy, and the park has been breeding African lions for 30 years. There are daily lion, kea, and possum feedings, and the elevated treetop walkway takes up 20 feet (6 meters) into the forest canopy so you can see the birds and their nests.
Things to Know Before You Go
Paradise Valley Springs is ideal for wildlife lovers and families visiting the Rotorua area.
The park is home to Te Waireka Spring, a freshwater spring where you can fill up your water bottle and see their bottling plant through viewing windows. Bottled water is sold throughout the park.
An on-site café offers coffee and snacks, and at the gift shop you can pick up gifts or souvenirs to take home.
All of Paradise Valley Springs’ walkways, except the elevated treetop walk, are accessible to wheelchair users, and loaner wheelchairs are available at no cost.
How to Get There
Paradise Valley Springs is a short drive west of Rotorua along Paradise Valley Road, which connects with Pukehangi and Clayton roads on the outskirts of the Rotorua suburb of Pukehangi. If you’re not driving, you can hire a shuttle to take you to the park.
When to Get There
Paradise Valley Springs is open every day of the year from early morning until sunset, rain or shine. The park’s two feeding sessions take place in the mid-afternoon, so it’s best to arrive sometime between 12pm and 2pm. For the best chance of good weather, visit in spring or summer.
Close Encounters with the Lion Pride
The lions at Paradise Valley Springs are fed every afternoon. This is when you’ll see the lions at their most active, as they typically sleep for up to 20 hours a day. The Paradise Valley Springs pride is a breeding pride, and if you’re fortunate enough to visit when there are lion cubs, you might also get the exciting chance to play with the little ones.
- Things to do in North Island
- Things to do in Tauranga
- Things to do in Tongariro National Park
- Things to do in Hastings
- Things to do in Waiheke Island
- Things to do in Auckland
- Things to do in Wellington
- Things to do in Picton
- Things to do in Akaroa
- Things to do in Queenstown
- Things to do in South Island
- Things to do in New South Wales
- Things to do in Wanaka
- Things to do in Tasmania
- Things to do in Victoria